BRISBANE, Australia -- It was an awkward beginning. With world leaders seated in comfortable chairs arrayed in a circle, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened a pre-G20 summit retreat urging his counterparts to speak from their hearts.
Throughout the day, summit participants exuded good cheer and camaraderie. Despite Australia having lobbied for Vladimir Putinto be disinvited, the Russian leader was greeted warmly. He chatted amiably with German chancellor Angela Merkel and exchanged pleasantries with Abbott.